Physical Therapy: Helping People to Move Better, Feel Better & Live Better
Living with chronic pain can be suffering. It may be hard to spend time with family, work, exercise, or carry out your daily life. Though you may have the option to take pain medications, sometimes that option only masks the pain instead of treating the source. That is where physical therapy comes into play.
Physical therapy can make you stronger, building up the muscles to help you move better, feel better and live better. If you are unsure about what physical therapy is and the benefits it has to offer, we have you covered. Here are some things to help you learn about physical therapy and its value.
What Is A Physical Therapist?
A physical therapist is defined as someone who is a trained and licensed professional who has experience in diagnosing physical abnormalities, restoring physical function and mobility, maintaining physical function and promoting physical activity and proper function, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.
Where Can I Find A Physical Therapist?
You can find licensed physical therapists in outpatient offices, private practices, hospitals, rehab centers, nursing homes, home health, sports and fitness settings, schools, hospices, occupational settings, government agencies and research centers.
How Does Physical Therapy Treat Pain?
One of the benefits of going to a physical therapist for pain is because they treat the source of your pain. Whether you are having back and leg pain, or joint pain, a physical therapist is an expert on treating that pain from the source.
In a couple of physical therapy sessions, you may do one or a combination of these workouts.
It is important that your muscles are loose and warmed up to reduce the chance of further injuring yourself. These stretches will be gentle and slow-paced.
Low-Impact Aerobic Training
This will increase your heart rate while not putting a high impact on your joints.
These types of exercises can be performed in several ways like using a machine, resistance bands, or body weight to work on your core muscles like your stomach, glutes and back.
Pain Relief Exercises
This type of exercise is especially good for alleviating pain in areas you feel it most. They zero in on areas where you have the pain. This makes you stronger and more flexible in those pain areas.
When you visit a physical therapist you can expect to go through a physical exam and evaluation to better understand your health history, your posture, your movement and flexibility, and your muscle and joint motion and performance. You may also receive a clinical diagnosis, prognosis and a strategy to improve it. You would also get self-management recommendations for when you are not in the therapist’s office.
Which Conditions Benefit From Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is good for a number of conditions, but here are some common conditions that can especially benefit from physical therapy.
• Musculoskeletal dysfunction like back pain, rotator cuff tears and temporomandibular joint disorders
• Cardiopulmonary conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis and post-myocardial infarction
• Carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger
• Neurological conditions like strokes, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, vestibular dysfunction and traumatic brain injuries
• Pediatric conditions like developmental delays, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy
• People with sports-related injuries like a concussion or tennis elbow
• Women’s health and pelvic floor dysfunction like urinary incontinence and lymphedema
What Are The Benefits?
Physical therapy is a great way to improve your level of functioning in a way that truly helps the pain once and for all. Here are ways you can benefit from undergoing physical therapy.
You Can Avoid Therapy
Physical therapy treats the source of the pain, making the option of surgery almost obsolete. In the event you have to go into surgery, your recovery rate may be faster because you have gone into it in better shape.
You Can Improve Balance And Prevent Falls
Depending on where you fall on the high fall risk scale, your physical therapist can customize exercises for you that simulate real-life situations that may challenge your balance.
You Get Pain Relief From The Source
Therapeutic exercises and manual therapy techniques like joint and soft tissue mobilization can help relieve pain, restore muscle and joint function, reducing pain and preventing it from coming back.